Baking a Vintage Irish Potato Cake from 1930

It’s been a while since I baked a cake from a vintage recipe and although some attempts were better than others, I thought in order to celebrate St Patricks day, we would all come together to bake an Irish Potato Cake from a 1930’s recipe. For those that don’t know, I lived in Ireland for a little while as I did my Masters degree and it broke my heart to leave the green isle. Sure it had it’s bad and weird parts, but there was so much to love about it. I might also be bias because I left my soul mate/best friend there, but I often day dream about my time there and still hold onto many of my Irish memories. Before I get too soppy, let’s have a look at today’s recipe.

The original recipe came from A Bag Full of Recipes.
There’s long been a link between Ireland and potatoes so such a recipe seems pretty fitting to celebrate the most iconic day of the Irish calendar year. As some one who has spent a couple of St Patrick’s day in Dublin herself, it’s certainly a day that begins celebrating early so if you do plan on making the recipe before Wednesday, let me know how you go. The recipe seems pretty simple and I had almost everything already in my pantry. From what I can tell, this recipe was part of an advertising recipe book from the 1930’s produced by Imperial Sugar. On the official Imperial Sugar website, the recipe has been revisited and given more information for a modern audience. If you’d like to check out the modern version of this recipe, please go here. For the sake of today’s post, I will be following the older true vintage version of the recipe but will be adding the modern glaze as it will make the cake even more delicious.

Ingredients For Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 squares of bitter chocolate
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup salted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar (the recipe of course recommend Imperial Sugar)
3 eggs
1 cup mashed potatoes
1 cup milk
1 cup of nuts (I used macadamia as they were in season)

Ingredients For Glaze
2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
1 cup + 2 tablespoons of sugar (the recipe recommends Imperial Sugar)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons hot water
Chopped pecans, optional

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 F).

Cream the butter and sugar.

Add eggs, potatoes and alternate dry ingredients with milk.

Add chocolate and nuts and vanilla.

Bake in a greased and floured loaf pan for 50 minutes.

To make glaze, combine powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and hot water. Whisk together.

Add more water or sugar to reach the consistency you require. Pour over a cooled cake.

Add chopped pecans to decorate.


The cake came out absolutely delicious. The kitchen was aloft of delightful smells of spices and a soft earthiness. The cake itself wasn’t as dense as I thought it would be and I was surprised it wasn’t dry. The cake wasn’t very sweet so I was really happy with the addition of the glaze. Originally I found the glaze a bit runny so after pouring the first layer, I let it harden slightly and added more sugar to the mixture before adding the second layer. This definitely helped to boost the overall sweetness of the cake.

Miss MonMon bakes an Irish Potato cake from 1930.

I really enjoyed making this cake. If I’m being honest, I’ve been struggling with my mental health and I can definitely hear and see that in the video I made. What you don’t see is me having an absolute meltdown after I poured my eggs into the mixture. I ended up walking away from the whole thing for about half an hour. I’ve been very overwhelmed lately and the thought of closing everything down has crossed my mind many a time. This is a simple recipe, yet it sent me over the edge. After a break and a few deep breathes, I very slowly continued with the baking process and am very happy with how it came out. I don’t often share what happens behind the scenes, but I hope that anyone who is struggling or overwhelmed and happens to be reading this, that you know that it’s ok not to be ok. Take that break you need and at your own pace, keep chipping away at whatever you’re working on. I wanted to be filmed and finished in two hours and instead it took most of the day. It’s not my best video, but I did my best at a time of great stress. If you’re stuck, take a deep breathe, know you hold all the inner strength you need to get through, and keep going.


Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way. There are no affiliate links and I do not benefit from any link clicks or purchases made.

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